KUALA Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) has finally unveiled the proposed RM900mil Jalan Tun Razak (JTR) Traffic Dispersal Project to reduce traffic congestion in the city centre.
The stretch has been well-known for massive traffic jams during peak hours in the morning and evening and it is also an important road that links to several major roads and destinations such as the SMART Tunnel.
During the national Budget 2016 announcement, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had said RM900mil would be allocated to implement the project.
Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Seri Mohd Amin Nordin Abd Aziz said DBKL was taking a strategic initiative to effectively reduce the traffic congestion along Jalan Tun Razak and its surrounding vicinity.
“The plan will begin from Jalan Langgak Golf to the Kampung Pandan roundabout,” he said in an exclusive interview with StarMetro.
He said the main work would include an open-cut tunnel starting from Jalan Langgak Golf to the roundabout, which is about 1km to 2km stretch.
Amin Nordin said the tunnel would offer direct traffic connectivity from JTR northward towards the roundabout, Maju Expressway (MEX), SMART Tunnel, Jalan Loke Yew and Jalan Sungai Besi, and other destinations.
“The connectivity will be to the new developments such as the Tun Razak Exchange (TRX), which is expected to be completed in 2018,” he said.
He said there would also be direct and uninterrupted access via a ramp from Jalan Bukit Bintang to Jalan Tun Razak.
“Lane-widening and resurfacing works will take place along JTR to ease the south-bound traffic flow,” he elaborated.
All of the road works will be carried out simultaneously and Amin Nordin expects it to start by the end of the year.
“The work is estimated to take 13 months and is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2018,” he said,
Land acquisition of a mix of commercial and residential properties along JTR could take place, costing an estimated RM147mil, subject to change.
“At the moment, the land acquisition encompasses about 0.6ha.
“However, we want to try to minimise or avoid land acquisition altogether if possible as it may delay the project,” he said.
He said the current plan (shown in map) would be used as a guide but could change.
“After a meeting with the Finance Ministry recently, it was decided that TRX City Sdn Bhd (the master developer of the TRX development) will be building its own roads in and out of TRX and DBKL will be building the external roads outside TRX,” he said.
Amin Nordin disclosed that there would be two contractors conducting this project.
“We will appoint an independent consultant engineer to vet through the existing design and to check on the costing.
“Once completed, we will carry out value engineering to minimise land acquisition and reduce the costs.
“Once all these are done, we will revert to the ministry and after getting the green light, we will call for tenders,” he said, adding it would be a selected tender process based on invitation and track record, given the scale of the project.
When asked about the open-cut tunnel, he said it could be changed depending on the value engineering findings.
He said the project would be funded by the Federal Government (about RM300mil), DBKL (about RM300mil) and TRX City Sdn Bhd (about RM327mil).
According to the TRX website, TRX is “an iconic 28ha development in the heart of Kuala Lumpur that is set to become a leading centre for international finance and business.”
“With an estimated gross development value of RM40bil, the development will encompass investment grade A office space underpinned by world-class residential, hospitality, retail, leisure and cultural offerings,” it stated.
It also said TRX would offer connectivity to the existing city centre and the rest of Greater KL with its accessibility and connectivity via an integrated underground Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) interchange station.
Frequent JTR user Maximilius Abdullah Abbas Wan Mohd Hasni, 29, described the traffic there as “horrendous”.
“The roads seem to get a new construction project every other week,” he said.
The senior IT consultant said in the morning he would use the road from Akleh to other connecting roads and in the afternoon, from Prince Court Medical Centre to PWTC through JTR.
“I spend an average of 30 to 45 minutes a day on JTR itself,” he said.
On whether he agreed with the RM900mil proposal, he said it depended on what DBKL was proposing.
“If they do not consult the right people on the future plan, it could cause more congestion if it is not done right,” he said.
Another motorist who uses JTR daily, XuJen Teo, 25, said she would usually be stuck for 30 minutes heading back to Kuala Lumpur using JTR from Lorong Kuda during peak hours.
“Traffic can be a nightmare during peak hours and it will be worse if there is rain or flash floods at the traffic lights,” she said.
On the proposed plan, she said it would be great but at the end of the day, it was drivers’ attitude that mattered.
“It will also be great if people practise carpooling,” said the student.